CREATED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH WEST ONE BATHROOMS
Step 1: Pick your priorities
Renovating a bathroom can be a large financial undertaking. If you have a budget in mind, there may have to be some compromises. The trick is to decide what the priority is – if it's plenty of storage, then a large vanity unit is essential. Perhaps it’s a walk-in shower or double sinks. Choose the hero element and focus on that as you design your bathroom.
Step 2: Go for quality where it matters
Try to pick the highest quality product you can afford – it may be a false economy to go for cheaper items in the long term – so prioritise what to spend on. Often the loo is the least important item – wall hung and well glazed are commonly the main requirements.
Brassware brings a design focal point to a bathroom and feels good to touch so splash out on your hardware if you can. For a luxe look without the price tag, chrome is a cost-effective alternative.
Step 3: Save where you can
There are so many amazing tile manufacturers around at the moment, you can create an eye-catching display without blowing the budget. Once tiles are on the wall and can be kept clean, they will ultimately do the job they are there to do – be functional and have a good aesthetic – so if budgets can’t stretch, save some money here.
If a wet room is on your wish list but you’re concerned about the additional product and labour costs, a coloured flush-to-floor tray will give the desired look for a lot less money.
Finally, retaining the layout you currently have will save extra costs on installation so if it works, stick with it.
Step 4: Incorporate clever tricks
Think about design tricks you can use to create a more luxurious space, without throwing loads of money at it. Low-level lighting, sunken alcoves and niches, and tiled bath panels with illuminated plinths all add the wow factor without the price tag. The use of more cost-effective finishes – such as oversized mirrors, paint or wallpaper rather than just tiling, using reclaimed materials – will all make a space feel creatively designed.
Here are some key questions to ask before you start:
What do you need from the space and who is going to be using it?
A children’s bathroom has totally different requirements from a master en suite to be used by a professional couple. Understand what you need and plan from there.
What inspires you?
When you look at magazines or social media, what makes you say ‘wow’? Is there a look you find yourself being drawn to time and time again?
What’s your timeline?
Lead times on some made-to-order items can be up to 16 weeks so these need to be factored in around building work.
Who will be installing it?
Beautiful products are nothing without good install to make it a reality. Also, if you are altering the layout a tradesperson will be able to advise what’s feasible.
How much are you planning to spend?
An important one. The options are endless so in order for a designer to be able to advise appropriately, a guideline is needed to make sure everything is achievable.